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Lecture 16

AN101 Lecture 16

6 Pages
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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
AN101
Professor
Anne- Marie Colpron

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Leture 16 3/20/2013 9:29:00 AM
Question:
Do messianism movement only appear among people that are politically or
economically oppressed?
An example of messianism before colonialism: the land without evil
Among the Tupi-Guarani, an Indigenous people of the Amazon, messianic
movements arose before colonialist times for existential reasons.
Land without evil:
Shaman-prophets emerged: they had a dream or a vision of s sort of paradise on
earth, where people would always be young and beautiful and would live in
abundance without needing to work
People followed the shaman-prophet in search of this perfect land. The paradox:
this utopia implied terrible migrations and a living hell, where many people died
on the road.
Revitalization:
A conscious, deliberate, and organized attempt but some members of a society to
create a more satisfying culture in a time of crisis (Cf. The Kwaio example in the
textbook)
Maintaining tradition can be a form of political protest.
People in power get to impose their own metaphors and worldviews:
A metaphor or a worldview can be used to refer to a self evident truth when
people in power seek to eliminate or impost certain forms of conduct.
Secularism:
The separation of religion and state, including a notion of secular citizenship (i.e.
not religious) that owes much to the notion of individual agency developed in
Protestant theology.
Ritual:
A repetitive social practice composted of a sequence of symbolic activities in the
form of dance, song, speech, gestures, the manipulation of certain objects, and so
forth.
It is set apart from the social routines of everyday life
it adheres to a characteristic culturally defined schema
its action is closely connected to a specific set of ideas that are often encoded in
myths.
What gives rituals their power is that the people who preform them assert that
the authorization for the ritual comes from outside themselves: their state,
society, gods, ancestor or tradition.
In anthropological term, ritual includes a much broader range of activities, such
as a graduation ceremony, a child’s birthday party, just as much as a wedding or
a bar mitzvah.
A ritual has a particular sequential ordering of acts, utterance and events.
Question:
Are rituals necessarily religious?
Rites of Passage:
A ritual that served to mark the movement and transformation of an individual
from one social position to another.
o Births
o Initiations
o Confirmation
o Weddings
o Funerals.
At the beginning of the XX century, the anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep wrote
a classic study on the rites of passage.
Life is considered as a series of passage with changed of social position that are
marks by a special ceremony.
The change of social position is also disruptive for the individual but also for
his/her social group: there is a reorganization of all people concerned by the
new position of the individual.
The ritual is held to prevent the potential disruptive effects of these changed and
to establish the new social roles of each person concerned.
Van Gennep observed that this kind of rituals has a similar structure around the
world:
o Separation

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Description
Leture 16 3/20/2013 9:29:00 AM Question:  Do messianism movement only appear among people that are politically or economically oppressed? An example of messianism before colonialism: the land without evil  Among the Tupi-Guarani, an Indigenous people of the Amazon, messianic movements arose before colonialist times for existential reasons. Land without evil:  Shaman-prophets emerged: they had a dream or a vision of s sort of paradise on earth, where people would always be young and beautiful and would live in abundance without needing to work  People followed the shaman-prophet in search of this perfect land. The paradox: this utopia implied terrible migrations and a living hell, where many people died on the road. Revitalization:  A conscious, deliberate, and organized attempt but some members of a society to create a more satisfying culture in a time of crisis (Cf. The Kwaio example in the textbook)  Maintaining tradition can be a form of political protest. People in power get to impose their own metaphors and worldviews:  A metaphor or a worldview can be used to refer to a self evident truth when people in power seek to eliminate or impost certain forms of conduct. Secularism:  The separation of religion and state, including a notion of secular citizenship (i.e. not religious) that owes much to the notion of individual agency developed in Protestant theology. Ritual:  A repetitive social practice composted of a sequence of symbolic activities in the form of dance, song, speech, gestures, the manipulation of certain objects, and so forth.  It is set apart from the social routines of everyday life  it adheres to a characteristic culturally defined schema  its action is closely connected to a specific set of ideas that are often encoded in myths.  What gives rituals their power is that the people who preform them assert that the authorization for the ritual comes from outside themselves: their state, society, gods, ancestor or tradition.  In anthropological term, ritual includes a much broader range of activities, such as a graduation ceremony, a child’s birthday party, just as much as a wedding or a bar mitzvah.  A ritual has a particular sequential ordering of acts, utterance and events. Question:  Are rituals necessarily religious? Rites of Passage:  A ritual that served to mark the movement and transformation of an individual from one social position to another.
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